Local man sentenced to life in prison after a decade on the run

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HOUSTON–  A former fugitive has been sentenced to life in prison after the fatal restaurant shooting of a man who dated his ex-girlfriend, the Harris County District attorney said Thursday.

Happy Pham, 32, walked into the Cajun Kitchen restaurant on Bellaire Blvd in Dec. 2006 and shot Pierre Maia, a college student who was sitting with friends, including Pham’s ex-girlfriend.

According to authorities, during the shooting Pham was overheard saying “you’re in my hood now, m—– f—–.”

The restaurant’s surveillance cameras captured Pham fleeing the scene.

“This person went to great lengths to hide, and it took a lot of manpower and a lot of time to bring him in,” Assistant District Attorney Ryan Trask said.

Pham was arrested last year in Houston after authorities followed up on numerous tips.

Pham was found hiding at a friend’s house, less than four miles from where the crime took place.

While on the run, Pham never renewed his driver’s license, paid taxes or had a legitimate job according to court testimony. He used a friend’s identification at times and had 5 pounds of marijuana and $26,000 in cash when he was arrested by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force.

“You can run and you can hide, but eventually the past is going to catch up to you,” Trask said.

Pham will be eligible for parole in 30 years.